In late May and early September, you may find the surface of a lake or stream covered with winged ants. This most often occurs where white pine trees line the shore. Trout, bass, salmon, and white perch all feed on the ants, to the exclusion of other forage species.
For most purposes, a size 14 floating ant pattern will suffice. The specific pattern is not important; you will get results with deer-hair ants, fur-bodied ants, and cork-bodied ants. Even a scraggly dry fly will take fish at this time.
Since the ant hatch is short-lived, usually no more than three or four days, fish take advantage of it to the fullest, feeding around the clock. If you have the stamina, you could go on a fish-catching marathon, catching fish on floating ants 24 hours a day.
Anyone can easily make terrestrial imitations like ants, bees, and beetles.
A hook, some thread, a scrap of balsa wood, and some model enamel are all you need to create high-floating flies to catch Maine gamefish.